Why do people keep saying Voyager weakened the Borg?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Civ001, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The problem isn't so much the possibility of someone being more powerful than the borg, but rather what does it do to their status as villains if we go and write a story where something Bigger and Badder casually blows them away. (then Voyager goes and develops the weapon to kill the bigger and badder).
     
  2. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    You did not at first write that Guinan and Q served the literary convention of giving a mouthpiece to an otherwide anonymous enemy. You equated their roles, putting Guinan and Q into the same political position as Locutus. In a weak sense, Guinan and Q represent the Borg in that they explain what they can about the Borg. Locutus, on the other hand, is actually in the service of the Borg, their complete and literal representative. I guess that if I were teaching about about terrorists or guerrillas, it might be said--figuratively--that I represent what they stand for to the best of my ability. However, if someone said (borrowing your words), "Al Qaeda ALWAYS had representatives, in nearly all their stories," equating me with some radicalized figure, making cut-rate videos, spouting quasi-religious rhetoric while footage of training exercise played in the background, I would have every right to be furious. To call me such a representative would be a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Moreover, if Guinan was such a mouthpiece to the Borg that she could say with such certainty what the future intentions of the Borg were ("Guinan said that one day dialog with the Borg would be possible."), Picard should have thrown he in the brig as he investigated her as a spy: such direct knowledge of the Borg's intentions should have been suspect. Of course, Guinan doesn't know: she's speculating, though without much confidence. She isn't representing the Borg, not in the way you suggest.

    As per whether the Federation should have been fearful of the Borg, the technological or metaphysical superiority of the race is not an indication of the threat that they might pose. Other than jockeying for geo-strategic advantage, the great powers--USA, Russia, China, UK and France--don't consider each other immediate threats simply because of their strength. Indeed, UK should not be threatened by USA in any way; whether the UK feels threatened by China should not be affected by the fact that USA has a military advantage over China. Indeed, over the last two decades, those powers have been threatened by lesser powers that might use force to create instability IN SPITE OF THEIR RELATIVE WEAKNESS. Some of those lesser powers aren't even nation-states; sometimes they are, at best, loosely organized. So I feel comfortable saying that the fact that their might be superior powers (and all your examples are debatable), that the Federation should not solely base their threat assessment of Borg solely on how they rank among the galaxy's power, but also based on what they intend to do and how they conduct themselves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it is. Trek fans had gotten this idea in their minds that the Borg were some Universal Super-Threat, and as such the idea of there being any one race out there that could fight them on their own level was unforgivable to them.

    That it was VOY, a series folks were already out to hate to begin with, that did this just added fuel to the fire.

    I suppose if they'd had Q give them the weaponry, or they found some ancient alien tech on some old world, you'd like that more?

    She and Q served the same plot purpose, to explain the Borg and their history and motives to the characters and the audience.

    I'm saying the fandom shouldn't react so negatively to the idea of there being at least even ONE species out there that can fight the Borg, because it's ridiculous to think that the Borg are Galactic Threat No.1.
     
  4. KaraBear

    KaraBear Captain Captain

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    I think this is a big point

    I think the fact that something happened on Voyager is enough for people to criticise. People give voyager a hard time about things where TNG and DS9 did the same thing and people loved it.
     
  5. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're doing that thing where you rail against your nebulous perception of fandom, so I'll just stick to my own opinion. My biggest problem with the handling of 8472 was Voyager coming up with the weapon that beats them. It made the borg look rather rubbish. 8472 ships blow borg apart with ease whilst Voyager survives a round of combat then returns fire and blows 8472 ships apart. If Voyager had stumbled across some ancient alien tech to enable their anti-8472 superweapon that would have been less annoying, albeit still a bit contrived.

    honestly if I was writing such a story I'd just have 8472 and the Borg blasting seven hells out of each other, to some sort of stalemate or narrow victory. And Voyager simple doing its best to evade and survive.

    The wider problem with the Borg was, we ended up just not that scared of them. Maybe because they were used too much, and thwarted too often. It was a serious case of what TV Tropes calls Villain Decay. (Who has a similar problem with Daleks) In which case, yeah, Voyager was at a disadvantage simply by being later to the party. Although more inventive writing could have helped.

    We already knew there were entities out there that could overpower the Borg. We met a particularly godlike one in the TNG pilot! But a story like that has to be handled carefully in case it contributes to the Villain Decay. Maybe if the Borg got totally beaten, and then 8472 took over their space, that would be more interesting. But the Borg hung around instead, going from a top level terror to bumbling cyberzombies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Stoo

    Your latest post merely proves Anwar, me, etc correct.
    You're annoyed the borg can be bitch-slapped by someone and call it 'villain decay'.

    Well, as long as it's not the federation that can do the bitch-slapping - or even winning -, it's not even close to being 'villain decay'.
     
  7. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    that's not actually responding to anything I said
     
  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not villain decay if the villain in question wasn't superior to the force they lost to in the first place.

    If the Borg lost in normal combat to the Feds repeatedly, then that's villain decay (and it didn't happen). If the Borg lose to super-powerful aliens from another Dimension who were far beyond them because of inherent weaknesses the Borg have (but others do not have) and said aliens lose to others who do not have the Borgs' weaknesses, that's not villain decay.

    If the Borg losing to ANYONE is enough to ruin their image, then the Borg were crappy villains/characters to begin with that it takes SO LITTLE to ruin them.

    You don't see anyone complaining whenever Dominion soldiers got killed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  9. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Scorpion didn't single handedly ruin their image, you're fighting a strawman there. The borg suffered a steady degredation in how threatening they felt, which is the most basic definion of villain decay.

    re: the Dominion, I can't speak for soldiers but as an example I thought the Dominion Attack ships suffered pretty badly. They went from three outfighting a much larger Galaxy class, to being cannon fodder.
     
  10. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They didn't outfight the Odyssey, they destroyed in in a Kamikaze attack. Those tend to be pretty effective when you're a flying antimatter bomb.

    "Scorpion" is where everyone keeps saying the Borg Decay started, because the mere THOUGHT of there being ONE Species out there that could fight the Borg was utter heresy to them because for some bizarre reason they saw the Borg as some ultimate enemy.

    They're not, they never were. They're just cyborgs who are tougher than the Feds.
     
  11. KaraBear

    KaraBear Captain Captain

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    THIS!!!
     
  12. Stoo

    Stoo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Okay now you're just confusing me. You complain about the dominion getting different treatment from fans then when I acknowledge they suffer similar villain decay you argue!

    Oydssey was only destroyed in the Kamikaze attack, sure, but it was already heavily damaged and retreating. I'd call that a loss. I recall the Defiant had a tough time with battlebugs also, in its first fight.

    re: the Borg, I'm pretty sure they were initially meant as a threat way above powers comparable to the federation. They weren't just a moderately tough baddie in Best of Both Worlds. It wasn't a player on the scale of the Romulan empire. This was something new, terrifying and seemingly unstoppable.

    This was something they lost over the course of Voyager. Maybe it started earlier, I dunno. First Contact at least made defeating a cube difficult (and Voyager never did personally take down a cube), but I never really liked the idea of a Queen. It added a personal side to them which somehow makes them a touch more vulnerable.

    But then it continued with Voyager and they just weren't so scary. I've already pondered Scorpion and the ways it could have been done differently, although you seem to keep falling back to complaining about your mysterious "everyone". I'm not talking about ridiculous emotive terms like Heresy, my concern is how can you implement a supposedly vastly superior enemy, then keep them that way without becoming just another Villain of the Week.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was agreeing with you. I was pointing out it wasn't even a total clear-cut victory without the kamikaze attack.

    The Feds saw them as such, then they got their act together and showed that they could fight back. What didn't make sense was how the show treated the Borg like some super-threat when they really weren't anything new compared to super-threats the Feds faced in the past anyways.

    It was because the VOY crew weren't scared of them.

    You can't, not unless you don't stupidly overpower them in the first place.

    For example, instead of it just being a Cube that attacks in BOBW it is the Borg Unicomplex itself. It's made clear that this thing is a one-of-a-kind super Vessel and it's more powerful than an entire Armada of Cubes.

    Then when it's destroyed at the end, make it clear that the Core of the Borg has been destroyed. This isn't just one victory against one vessel, this is a MAJOR blow to the Collective that will cripple them for centuries. Every Borg encounter from this point on will be easier.

    When VOY shows us the Borg, it's all just weaker ships that don't have 1/100th of the power of the Unicomplex and the Collective is still weak from the loss of the Unicomplex.
     
  14. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    When is it made clear from watchin BOBW that it was some sort of super cube, I must have missed that line of dialouge?
     
  15. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sounds like the reasoning of an apologist to me.
     
  16. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, we never ever saw a Borg Cube as huge or powerful as that one ever again (The Cube in FC was smaller and weaker).

    I'm just suggesting an alternative to BOBW that would set up VOY better, by not having the vessel in BOBW be a normal Cube but their single most powerful vessel (The Unicomplex seen in VOY) and have its destruction be a crippling blow to the Collective.

    That way, it's set up so that the Borg in VOY have already been crippled and all the ships seen in VOY were ultra-weak compared to the one seen in TNG so it's believable that VOY can defeat them because they aren't that strong to begin with.

    Otherwise, we're stuck either with weakening the Borg by having VOY survive or make the crew of VOY a bunch of pathetic cowards who don't have a single victory against ANYONE throughout the entire series.

    EDIT: And no, "Don't use the Borg very much" isn't an option.
     
  17. KaraBear

    KaraBear Captain Captain

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    I think people overlook that many times they encountered the borg they paid a price. they often took heavy damage, and they lost the Delta Flyer to a (planned) attack, they even had crew members assimilated

    even in endgame, when they saw that the nebula was full of borg they turned and fled. they were plenty "scared" of the borg
     
  18. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    When/were was it established that the cube in FC was smaller than the one in BOBW?

    Your arguing facts not in evidence.

    Perhaps it would have been better if they had used something along the lines of your suggestion it might have worked, but als they didn't and we are stuck with what we have.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It might simply look like a more compact design-- though how anything can be more compact than a cube is a mystery-- due to a new model in First Contact. One thing we know for certain is the cube in BoBW is of the same dimensions of the one at System J-25.
     
  20. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    True, but I suspect that one Galaxy Class ship has the same dimensions as another Galaxy Ship. And as the Borg seek perfection you would expect each and every vessel of the same type to be exactly the same dimensions.